Integrated Pest Management (IPM) service is available for conventional, organic, and seed potato crops.
Weekly visits are made to each field during the growing season (from plant emergence until tops have died down or crop has been harvested) to collect and record the occurrence of the following insects and diseases:
- Tuber Flea Beetles
- Early Blight
- Late Blight
- Pink Rot
(If a disease cannot be identified visually, a plant sample can be sent for analysis to the BCAGRI lab for a separate fee)
Recommendations for control will be made when deemed necessary to avoid economic loss. A report is delivered to clients after each visit.
It’s important to note that IPM service involves the systematic sampling of the crop to assess overall trends in pest populations and does not involve the inspection of every row in the field.
Conventional Mid-Late Season Potatoes
At plant emergence, special sampling (close up inspection of each leaf and stem) begins to determine presence of first generation tuber flea beetles. Control of the first generation will prevent or minimize damage caused by the second and third generations.
Once plants are larger, sweep nets are used to sample for pests and beneficial insects. Aphids, spider mites, and thrips are quantified by visual assessment of lower leaf triplets. Recommendations are made for an insecticide application when the numbers of pests cannot be controlled by naturally occurring beneficial insects and economic loss may result.
Throughout the entire growing season, intense visual inspection continues for the occurrence of late blight. Based on weather and disease pressure recommendations are made for an appropriate fungicide spray schedual.
Conventional Early Potatoes
It is expected that early potatoes will be harvested or completely top killed before the damaging population of flea beetle emerges and aphid sampling becomes labour intensive. Special sampling for the first generation tuber flea beetle is unnecessary, but the same inspections for other insects and diseases is carried out on the usual weekly basis.
The same IPM service for the conventional crops is provided, but the recommendations made are within the guidelines of the Canadian Organic Regime. Possible cultural solutions are discussed and planned early in the season with the client.
In addition to the IPM service, extra passes are made through the fields each week by a supervisor trained in the CFIA’s seed inspectors training course. They will be looking for viruses, diseases, and the occurrence of foreign varieties.